Accessing Medical Care in Mexico
Mexico, a country with a rich and expressive culture, is populated with over 129 million people. However, amongst the 129 million people, there are people who do not have health coverage. Although medical care in Mexico has made advances to improve its system over the years, access to medical care remains a concern for the people of Mexico who cannot afford the costs to see a doctor.
IMSS in Mexico
Mexico has private practices, hospitals and physicians working in the healthcare system. The medical employees are trained. They also have experience working in the U.S. and Europe. Mexico’s national healthcare system includes The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, or the IMSS system. It translates to the Mexican Institute of Social Security.
The IMSS system is a part of the national Social Security and focuses on helping employees and employers. Reportedly, applying to be a part of the IMSS system costs about $40 a month. People with pre-existing medical conditions are less likely to be accepted when applying.
Seguro Popular in Mexico
Seguro Popular is the second option people have to get assistance and coverage with medical care in Mexico. It targets people who did not qualify for the IMSS system or cannot afford the costs. Unemployed and ill individuals are already a focus for being part of the program. Fees to participate in Seguro Popular vary depending on household income.
According to the World Bank, in 2002, only half of the Mexican population benefited from health insurance. With Seguro Popular’s efforts to help those underprivileged, the insurance sought to help up to 55.6 million people by 2013. By 2013, 22.8 million people were also able to receive a screening for diabetes and high blood pressure. Millions of people who were unable to receive assistance before the establishment of Seguro Popular are able to now. The percentage of poor people that received help from Seguro Popular grew from 42.3% in 2008 to 72.32% in 2012. Although Seguro Popular has helped many people in need with medical assistance, there remains an issue of access for unemployed people below the poverty line.
Medical Costs and Poverty in Mexico
On average, access to prescription drugs is 30% to 60% less than the U.S charges; however, the prices remain challenging to afford for poor individuals.
Above 40% of people living in Mexico are living under the poverty line. Dozens of poor people live with less than $2 a day, and those who are extremely poor are living at $1 a day. Millions of children in Mexico are poor. Over 20 million children and teens being poor and five million are extremely poor.
Some people cannot apply for programs such as IMSS and Seguro Popular because of their inability to access the internet or afford transportation costs to get to medical facilities. Although there are over 80 million people who have access to the internet in Mexico, there are still millions of others without access.
As the country advances technologically and medically, more people will continue to access medical care in Mexico whether it be through a public or private practice. However, the poor and extremely poor remain groups who cannot be forgotten about.
– Amanda Cruz